Go to almost any public space in Queensland, or indeed anywhere else in Australia, and you’ll see someone tapping away on their mobile phone. However, using a phone when you’re in control of a vehicle can be dangerous and you should abide by Queensland driving laws.
Under the driving laws, can I call or text while driving?
Drivers need to pay full attention to what’s going on in front of them, both on the road and on the pavement. They are also in charge of their own safety, the safety of their passengers and the wellbeing of other drivers and pedestrians.
Mobile phones are a distraction. Queensland driving laws forbid the use of mobile phones while driving. If you’re caught with your phone in your hand while in control of your vehicle, you could be fined.
What if my car is stationary?
Even if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or queued at traffic lights, it’s illegal for you to hold a mobile phone in your hand and use it.
Can I stop at the side of the road and make a call?
Yes, but only as long as you ‘park legally’. Legal parking is defined as stopping in an area which allows you to park, placing the transmission in park or neutral, raising the handbrake and turning off the engine of the vehicle.
You keep talking about having the device ‘in your hands’. Does this mean I can use my phone ‘hands-free’?
Yes, although the following restrictions apply:
- You must not be a learner driver, probationary licence or P-plate holder under the age of 25.
- You must not be the supervisor or adult passenger of the above.
- You must not be distracted from the driving task by the act of using a hands-free device. For example, if your view of the road is obscured by the device or if you’re concentrating on your conversation without paying due attention to the road.
If you’re caught braking the above Queensland driving laws, you could be subject to a fine of up to $353 and you could also have 3 demerit points placed on your record. Of course, you could also end up causing serious damage.
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